State Library Updates & Reminders

state_mnTO: Minnesota Libraries
FROM: State Library Services
DATE: December 11, 2014
SUBJECT: Award for Continuous Improvement, 90sN Deadline Extended, Summer Reading Evaluation

Award for Continuous Improvement
I am delighted to announce that State Library Services has received the 2014 Governor’s Award for Continuous Improvement.  Under the leadership of Jen Nelson, the State and Federal Programs Team (Jackie Blagsvedt, Emily Kissane, and Jennifer Verbrugge) was recognized for their work in streamlining state and federal grant and aid program administration over the last year.  Their combined efforts to align program applications, reporting and administration with state statutes, work collaboratively with colleagues in School and Agency Finance, and incorporate plain language have led to improved processes and an increased amount of funds available for competitive grants.  Specifically, State Library Services increased federal Library Services and Technology Act competitive grant awards by 58 percent in one year, resulting in more options for funding local projects.

But perhaps the most far-reaching impact of streamlining federal and state program administration has been to allow 1.25 FTE to focus on key priorities for State Library Services and the Minnesota Department of Education – achieving the goals articulated in the Governor’s Seven Point Plan for Better Schools.  State Library Services staff now work with libraries across the state to improve their capacity to deliver quality early childhood learning experiences and to connect schools and libraries to foster academic success and close the achievement gap.

I hope you will join me in congratulating their recent successes and their commitment to fostering strong libraries in Minnesota. -Kevin McHenry, Assistant Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Education

Deadline for Newbery Film Festival Extended to January 16, 2015
90-Second Newbery founder James Kennedy has given kid filmmakers a holiday gift: an extra four weeks to complete and submit films.  The new deadline is January 16, 2015.

Please update your promotional messages to local kids and families through your library or school.  Visit the State Library Services web page to download the logo, an updated sample press release, an updated program flyer, a video invite from 90-Second Newbery founder James Kennedy, and more.

Also – mark your calendar for the first-ever Minnesota screening of the best 90-Second Newbery entries on Saturday, February 28, 2015, from 3:00 – 4:30 PM at Hennepin County Library – Minneapolis Central.  Co-hosts of the event will be James Kennedy, founder and curator of the 90-Second Newbery, and Kelly Barnhill, Minneapolis author of ‘The Witch’s Boy.’  For more details, please contact Jennifer Verbrugge at or 651-582-8356.

Evaluating Summer Reading: A St. Kate’s Capstone Project
On behalf of State Library Services, a trio of St. Kate’s MLIS students researched summer reading program evaluation practices in Minnesota libraries and in other states during the fall semester.  The result is a comprehensive 40-page document with recommendations, the full-text of communications with a range of interviewees, and a bibliography of timely and topical resources.  Please contact Jennifer Verbrugge at or 651-582-8356 if you would like a copy of the final report.